Is pro bono free?
Pro bono providers do not charge their nonprofit clients. But pro bono does require a commitment of time and occasionally other resources (such as printing budget for a brochure)—so we never call it “free.” It’s important to recognize that pro bono consultants and nonprofits will need to invest time and energy to make pro bono work. The returns on this investment, however, are often enormous.

What kind of resources can I get pro bono?
Often, just thinking about the challenges you face within your organization can help generate a list of viable project opportunities. Taproot focuses on connecting nonprofits with professionals primarily in marketing, strategy, human resources, finance, and IT. Within those areas of expertise, there are many different types – and sizes – of projects that can be tackled.

Why should I use pro bono services? Isn’t it true that “you get what you pay for”?
Pro bono is our business. Over the course of serving more than 1600 nonprofits across the country and working to design pro bono programs for dozens of companies, we have uncovered the keys to making pro bono fulfill its potential. We’ve learned that when you select and scope a project carefully, secure the right professionals for the job, and manage the work effectively, pro bono can be even more effective than paid consulting—at no cost. We’ve seen firsthand the way in which pro bono can help a nonprofit excel at what they do.

How do you measure the value of pro bono service?
The best way to measure the value is to use the hourly rate of the professionals involved in service. The current average hourly rate for pro bono service, as determined in partnership with CECP, is $150. Read more about this valuation here.  

How is pro bono different from traditional volunteering?
Traditional volunteering, such as a beach cleanup or serving at a soup kitchen, typically addresses extra-hands type needs—a nonprofit needs people to help deliver a program. Pro bono service, however, uses specific professional skills that often address capacity-building or long-term needs. For example, an HR professional could engage in traditional volunteer opportunity by planting a community garden, or work pro bono by helping an organization build an employee handbook. Taproot supports traditional volunteering—it can make a big difference in programs and is always helpful in engaging your community. But pro bono is a huge, often underutilized opportunity. Donated pro bono services can help build community connections while developing staff talent, building bridges to the corporate sector, and strengthening a nonprofit’s ability to deal with constantly evolving social, economic, and environmental challenges.

How do I access services?
Read about our available services here. When you see a pro bono service that can meet your needs, click on the appropriate button to get started on that service!

When are Taproot’s services available?
You can get quick help with Virtual Office Hours (coming soon!) or post a project request to our online Taproot+ platform at any time. If you want to join us at an in-person pro bono event or workshop, check out our events schedule on the apply page. If you’d like a long-term project to tackle a more complex need, we accept applications February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1, October 1, and December 1. 

I know we need help, but I don’t know where to begin. Can you help me figure out how to apply for services?
Yes! We’d love to help you get started with pro bono. Fill out this short form and briefly let us know what challenges you’re facing. We’ll follow up with you to discuss the best pro bono service to address those challenges.

Where do your pro bono consultants come from?
Our pro bono consultants are a mix of about 60% employed by corporations, 25% independent contractors and about 15% who are in transition or who are retired. We primarily recruit our pro bono consultants through job boards.